Published December 13, 2015 - www.don411.com
CLEARWATER – Down 7-0 in the tiebreaking game of the Men’s Singles Pickleball Gold Medal match in the 60-64 age group, Cape Coral’s Robert Welter called a time out. He leaned against the wall at the Long Center in Clearwater as if he was winded or injured.
Upon returning to play, he scored the next 12 points and outscored his opponent, Michael Thaler, of Briny Breezes 15-1 to win the third game 15-8 after splitting the first two games.
“I had to change the momentum,” said Welter. “He was dominating. I was just hoping something would open up.”
It was Welter’s third consecutive gold medal in the 60-64 age group and the third consecutive year he has beaten Thaler in the age group finals.
It looked to be Thaler’s year to win the gold medal as he advanced out the elimination bracket and defeated Welter 11-7, 11-8 forcing an if necessary game and jumping out to the early lead.
On the court next to Welter and Thaler, as the rest of the Long Center had cleared out, was the championship match in the 65-69 age group where David Warner, of Fort Myers won his fifth consecutive gold medal. He defeated Nolan Fagerburg, of Sarasota, in three games winning the final 15-8. Warner and Fagerburg met in the championship match of the 2013 Florida Senior Games with Warner winning the gold.
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